Somerset Formula 1 driver Jenson Button's father has died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 70.
John Button, who has been a strong guiding force behind his son's career which includes winning the 2009 world championship, was found dead in his home on the French Riviera by a friend yesterday.
A statement released by the driver's agent read: "It is with great sadness and regret that I can confirm John Button passed away at his home in the South of France on Sunday. Whilst we await confirmation, initial signs would indicate a suspected heart attack.
A close friend who was visiting John on Sunday was the first to discover the tragic news.
"John's children Jenson, Natasha, Samantha and Tanya and the rest of the family are clearly devastated and ask for their privacy to be respected during this extremely difficult time."
Somerset racing driver Jenson Button says he has a good chance to fight for the Formula One World Championship this year and he can't wait to get back behind the wheel.
The car he'll be driving this season was officially unveiled at his McLaren team's headquarters at Woking in Surrey today. Bob Cruwys went to speak to him.
The former world champion has high hopes for his new wheels. He says, "We will have a chance to win in this car".
Jenson's really excited about getting to try it out. "We're really excited. Tuesday is a big day when we get the first chance to drive the car".
The Formula One season resumes this weekend after a month's break, and Jenson Button will start in pole position for tomorrow's
Belgian Grand Prix. The 32-year-old, who grew up in Frome, secured his first pole since 2009 with an impressive display in the qualifying session.